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  Global Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 2012, 2: 9
  Review Article
 
Integrative approach for the environmental quality assessment of aquatic ecosystems: A critical review
  Augusto Cesara,b, Rodrigo Brasil Choueria,b, Paloma Kachel Gusso-Chouerib,c, Camilo Dias Seabra Pereirab  
     
a Universidade Federal de São Paulo UNIFESP - Campus Baixada Santista. Avenida Ana Costa, 178, 11060-000, Santos-SP, Brazil
b Laboratório de Ecotoxicologia, UNISANTA. Rua Oswaldo Cruz, 266, 11045-907, Santos-SP, Brazil
c Universidade Federal do Paraná, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Conservação, Rua XV de Novembro, 1299, Curitiba – PR – Brasil, 80060-000

   
  Abstract  
  Chemical measurements are traditionally used to predict the environmental risks of contaminants in aquatic ecosystems. However, the integration of different Lines-of-Evidence (LOEs) is necessary to obtain a suitable diagnosis of the risk posed by contaminants to aquatic biota. Chemical, ecotoxicological and ecological assessments provide complementary information to build a full picture of the extent of pollution and its effects in freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems. In this manuscript we discuss the importance of the integrative assessment (also called Weight-of-Evidence approach) to adequately assess the environmental quality of aquatic ecosystems. It is reviewed the structure and application of integrative assessments worldwide. The evolution of LOEs and integration techniques are described and critically discussed. Potentially useful ecotoxicological techniques to be incorporated in WOE assessments are discussed. Finally, it is pointed out the importance of using the WOE approach to assess the risks related to human health and emerging environmental threats.
     
  Keywords  
  Aquatic ecosystems; Ecotoxicology; Sediment Quality Triad (SQT); Integrative approach; Environmental assessment; Multivariate analyses  
     
   
   
   
   
     

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